Group homes in recent times have gained traction as one of the fastest-growing businesses, particularly in the field of human services.
Note that a good number of states in the United States are transitioning to community-based services and downsizing large institutions.
Keep in mind that this transition has further bolstered the demand for group homes and they have grown more popular because they allow residents to live in regular neighborhoods and become a part of their community.
According to detailed industry insights, the change in treatment focus has further heightened the competition in the group home business.
Today, group homes can make around $80,000 – $90,000 a year per resident, and this doesn’t even include rent fees the group home gets from SSI benefits.
Nevertheless, starting and operating a group home in the United States is never an easy task as it requires extensive research, and families are known to take into account a wide range of factors when looking for the best home for their loved ones.
As such, when looking to start and operate this human service business, it is important you understand how to find the right clients as well as the best ways to get referrals. Always remember that a group home with a steady inflow of clients is indeed a successful one.
Steps to Get Clients for a Group Home
There are numerous steps that come with getting clients for a group home. While this is without doubt a very daunting task, the steps below will help in drawing in the right clients:
This is one of the primary factors families consider when seeking group homes for their loved ones. As such, you will want your group home to be appropriately licensed and certified in line with all relevant state and local regulations.
Once your business is properly structured, the next thing is to begin developing and cultivating good connections with local healthcare providers, social workers, hospitals, as well as other professionals who have the ability to refer clients to you.
3. Online Presence
Even for a group home, you cannot underestimate the importance of a viable online presence. As such, you should create a professional website for your group home.
Ensure that this website encompasses the necessary services you carry out, the amenities you have, as well as the contact details. It is also recommended you leverage search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to boost the visibility of your website.
4. Social Media Marketing
With the growing reach of social media platforms, you will want to leverage them to further brand and boost your group home.
Always use your social media platforms to share success stories, photos, and information, especially those pertaining to the services and unique care you offer to your residents.
This is another important strategy to take into extensive consideration. Always look for ways to motivate satisfied clients and their families to refer others to your group home. You can put in place rewards or incentives if possible.
6. Local Advertising
Advertising and marketing have always been a primary concern for group homes because most find it difficult to determine the right ways to market the human services they offer.
Howbeit, consider placing ads in local newspapers, magazines, and community bulletin boards. If you have the capacity, also consider sponsoring local events or taking part in health fairs.
7. Collaborate with Agencies
To ensure you always get clients for your group homes, it is very important you have a good arrangement with local social service agencies, disability organizations, and advocacy groups.
These agencies are known to have direct contact with individuals who want the services you offer at group homes for themselves or for their loved ones.
Best Sources of Referrals for a Group Home
Referrals are indeed one of the most important sources of clients for a group home. To ensure you can plan your actions and strategies appropriately, below are the best sources of Referrals for a group home:
1. Healthcare Professionals
To ensure you have steady referrals, it is important you build valid relationships with doctors, nurses, therapists, as well as other healthcare providers.
These professionals are known to meet patients every day, and a good number of them will need the services you offer at your group home.
2. Social Workers
These are another valid source you need to take into consideration. Note that social workers are very well-connected, especially in the field of social services, and tend to work mainly with people who need help and attention.
As such, seek ways to create smooth working relationships with social workers in hospitals, clinics, and community organizations.
3. Hospitals and Discharge Planners
Hospitals do not only provide medical care, keep in mind that they also discharge patients who require ongoing care. As such, make sure to create a solid connection with hospital discharge planners who are in the right position to recommend your group home to patients who need ongoing care.
4. Mental Health Clinics
Do not neglect these institutions because they also have the right clientele that will bring more business to your agency. Ensure to contact mental health clinics and professionals, such as psychiatrists and psychologists, who may have patients who require residential care.
5. Rehabilitation Centers
Depending on the demographic you intend to serve; this is another valid option to consider. Please note that persons recovering from injuries or surgeries might as well need a group home for continued rehabilitation and support. Align with rehabilitation centers in and around your neighborhood to ensure you get referrals.
6. Aging and Disability Organizations
You need to reach out to these organizations as they are known to see to the needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities.
7. Nonprofit organizations
Also consider ways to connect with nonprofits who serve your target demographic. Note that they might refer clients to your group home or even make available funding support.
8. Educational Institutions
Don’t also neglect special needs schools and educational institutions since they will possibly have students who need residential care. You can create a good and solid relationship with school counselors and administrators.
9. Satisfied customers
Always look for ways to motivate satisfied clients and their families to refer others to your group home. You can put in place rewards or incentives if possible.
10. Legal and Financial Advisors
These professionals might very well have clients who need assistance in locating the right residential care options. If possible, connect with them and create a relationship that ensures that they can refer you to clients who need your services.